Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tapering: what to do?

I'm pretty good about not running too much when I'm tapering, but my body does tend to go a little crazy. I always feel fine in the weeks leading up to a race, and then all of a sudden one or two completely bizarre things hurt, seemingly out of nowhere...? Taper week usually means lots of rolling, icing and trying to stay away from googling different word strings that usually end with "pain," or "treatment."

So, now in a period without much running until Sunday, I get to fill my time with other activities. Like:
  • A "short and mellow" trail run which really was neither that short, nor that mellow

  • Organizing race food
Yes, she DID separate them by brand
  • Building the first ever Lego Friends Ultra Aid Station (OK, OK, Lily built it...)
Take note RDs: no tortillas! 
  • Breaking in new race-day kicks
Fourth pair of Pearl Izumi Trail N2 shoes

Best of luck to everyone running Saturday and Sunday!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweeping at Chuckanut

Yesterday I was introduced to a whole new concept in distance running: total events completed.

Stan Kakashima is in his early 60s. He's been running marathons since 1980 and ultras since the mid '80s. He did Wasatch 100 in 1987. Yesterday, with a bum hamstring, he swept Chuckanut. Again. For the 10th time. It was interesting to hear him speak about the local and national people who hold records for most marathon and ultra event finishes. Stan says he's up to ~375, and wants to get to 400. He also volunteers at many races in the area and I hope to see him again in the future.

He'll be at Greenlake on Saturday; please cheer him on if you're there. As the sweeping coordinator described him to me, "He's a 60+ Asian man who likes 40, and he'll be wearing a windbreaker held together with safety pins."

Anita also swept the whole course while Big Steve and Andy did the first and last 10 miles with us. There are a lot of ultra finishes among that group.

The sweeping itself was promised to be a long day and it didn't disappoint: over nine hours. But the rain didn't come until the last hour and it was good to be on my legs literally all day, even if it was a lot of standing and walking. There were a few drops at various aid stations, but we only had to cut off one runner. It was clear she was not yet ready for a trail 50k, but she made it 21 miles and was doing her best. She cried, but hopefully she'll be back out at another ultra soon.

Early in the day.
Chuckanut Ridge trail; doing the course made me want to race here again.
The wind took out a few aid station pop-up tents.
Looping around toward Chinscraper.
Coming to appreciate flags you can just pull out or well-tied ribbon slipknots.

The week totaled out to 65.2m, just what I was hoping for. Now for a bit of a taper heading into Gorge.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Gorgeous outside today. So why did we do this yesterday?

Thanks to Adam for helping me out of a bad patch midway through. I felt like I was in a Snickers commercial, or something, but soup, coke and M&Ms from End of the Line turned it all around to finish off the last ten miles in "mental callousing" weather.

Other stuff:
  • Gorge on March 30 means I'm trying to do two good weeks before taking a little taper. This week worked out to 67 miles and I'll shoot for 60-65m this coming week as well, which will include another 50k on Saturday at... 
  • ...Chuckanut, where I'll be sweeping. Should be a nice, long time-on-legs day to do a low-impact 50k. Good luck to everyone running, especially "Cousin" Ben
  • Plain went from 15 entrants to 26 in one week. 
  • Tried one of these yesterday and really liked it: PocketFuel. A bit spendy to buy the small ones, but a big 20oz pouch to refill a soft flask seems like a decent idea. Or, make Nutella a bit more viscous?  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014